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Are poinsettias poisonous to dogs?

Did you know that poinsettias are poisonous to dogs?

Poinsettias may be popular at Christmas, but did you know they’re plants that are poisonous to dogs?

Published December 2022

As a pet owner, you are probably already aware that there are several plants that are poisonous to dogs.

You should always be careful with your dog around plants – particularly if he or she is of a curious nature.

And if you have plants in your garden, it’s a good idea to find out what they are and if they can pose a risk to your dog.

At this time of year, the poinsettia plant is popular in homes as it is commonly used in Christmas floral displays – and, unfortunately, these can cause your dog to be unwell if eaten.

Are Poinsettias dangerous to dogs?

The simple answer is not very.

Poinsettias are known as The Christmas Star and it’s easy to see why, with bright petals and deep green leaves.

Their sap is made up of chemicals including diterpenoid euphorbol esters, which can cause dogs to be unwell if digested. Luckily, it is very rare for a dog to be very ill from eating Poinsettias.

The sap can also irritate a dog’s skin, though the problem is rarely severe.

dogs in blanket

Signs your dog has been poisoned

While the effects of Poinsettia poisoning are likely to be mild, it may cause your dog to vomit, drool more than usual or, very rarely, suffer from diarrhoea.

If the sap touches your dog’s skin, you might notice redness or swelling. Your dog may also scratch more than normal.

If it gets in your dog’s eyes, then some inflammation might occur that looks like a mild conjunctivitis.


A Poinsettia’s poison has very low levels of toxicity and treatment is rarely needed. Your dog should be able to work through the short illness in a few hours.

Give your dog plenty to drink and keep a close eye on him or her for the next couple of days – and keep them away from the plants!

If you are worried, or if the symptoms appear more severe than described above, don’t be afraid to ask your vet to take a look.

Sainsbury’s Bank Pet Insurance customers can also take advantage of our 24/7 Vet Assistance service to help answer any questions they may have and put their mind at rest.

Other Christmas plants to be wary of

While Poinsettia plants pose only a mild threat to your pet, there are other seasonal plants that can be more serious.

Mistletoe and holly are particularly toxic and can cause serious problems for both dogs and cats, so keep them well out of the way if decorating your home this Christmas.

Keeping your dog away from poisonous plants is important, as is keeping it protected. Protect yourself from unexpected vet bills, should your dog come to any harm, with Sainsbury’s Bank Pet Insurance provided by Pinnacle Insurance plc. Explore our dog insurance policies today.

This Money Talk post aims to be informative and engaging. Though it may include tips and information, it does not constitute advice and should not be used as a basis for any financial decisions. Sainsbury's Bank accepts no responsibility for the opinions and views of external contributors and the content of external websites included within this post. Some links may take you to another Sainsbury's Bank page. All information in this post was correct at date of publication.